24 October 2008
If you go down to Elliott Park this Halloween, you are sure for a big surprise – with thousands of people expected to turn out there for Treats in the Park on Friday, 31 October from 3.15pm-8.15pm.
The inaugural Treats in the Park event was held seven years ago as a way of providing young trick-or-treaters with a safe, controlled environment in which to celebrate Halloween, and has continued to grow in popularity each year.
Hamilton City Council Youth Advisor Ani Nock said the initiative received a great deal of community support to get it to where it is today.
"It began when the issue was identified at a community meeting that a large amount of children were wandering the streets late into the night collecting treats door-to-door on the night of Halloween. There was clearly a need to provide families and, in particular, children with a safer alternative," she said.
"There was a huge amount of support from local schools, police, community groups and residents to hold this type of event, particularly the Western Community Association which assists in the funding, planning and implementation of Treats in the Park – without them the event could not operate.
"Since then, Treats in the Park has grown immensely – with last year's event attracting over 5000 people, including 3000 children registering for treats."
Some of the features of this year's event will include free treats for primary and intermediate aged children, free bouncy castle rides, family entertainment, food stalls and a skate competition including demo skaters. While the 'Scary House', which has proved popular in past years, will not go ahead this time around, it will allow for a wider selection of rides to be available.
"Children are now familiar with Treats in the Park and know they can come together for a fun, positive night," said Ms Nock.
"The event is alcohol and smoke free, and because an adult must accompany children, it benefits the whole community with a safe environment and quality time for families. The event assists towards creating a strong and healthy community by applying the knowledge, strengths and skills that exist in our community."
Gold coin donations will be collected to help cover costs associated with the event.
If you would like to support this event by donating treats for the children or by helping in another way, please contact Ani Nock or Ioana Tolofua on 07 847 4873.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Name: Ani Nock
Designation: Youth Advisor
Tel (Direct): 07 847 4873, ext 4
Mobile: 021 359 876
Fax (Direct): 07 846 3327
Name: Kylee Bruce
Designation: Communication Advisor
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6726
Mobile: 021 816 917
Fax (Direct): 07 838 6761